“We arrived in Darzo (Mizoram, India) about ten in the morning. My orders were to get the villagers to collect whatever moveable property they could, and set their own village on fire at seven in the evening.
Night fell, I lit a torch myself and set fire to one of the houses. I knew I was carrying out orders, and would hate to do such a thing if I had my way.
My soldiers also started torching other buildings, and the whole place was soon ablaze. Women were wailing and shouting and cursing. Children were frightened and cried. But the grown men were silent; not a whimper or a whisper from them. When it was time for the world to sleep, we marched out of Darzo .
We walked fifteen miles and the morning saw us in Hnahthial. I hated myself that night. I had done the job of an executioner. I called the Darzo Village Council President and his village elders and ordered them to sign a document saying that they had voluntarily asked to be resettled under the protection of the Security Forces as they were being harassed by the insurgents and that no force or coercion was used by the Security Forces.
They refused to sign. So I called them in one man at a time. On my table was a loaded revolver, and in the corner stood two NCOs with loaded sten-guns. This frightened them, and one by one they signed the documents.)
- Lalkhama 2006. A Mizo Civil Servant’s Random Reflections. Ghazaibad:
Express Print House, pp.177-180
In September 2011, state assembly of Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) debated a report which uncovered presence of more than 2,000 unmarked mass graves not far from the Line of Control that divides Pakistan from IOK. The report, by Indian government appointed State Human Rights Commission, also issued its first official acknowledgment of the presence of these mass graves.
Such incidents have not only been reported from IOK but many other parts of India. The atrocities committed to counter many ongoing insurgencies in the name of democratic Union of India are wide-spread, horrendous and shameful, yet only a handful of the perpetrators has ever been brought to justice.
India has been able to bring some of these insurgencies under a measure of control. Yet the wanton atrocities committed by Indian security forces and the coercive manipulation of democratic process probably has been some of the major causes why India houses one of the largest number of freedom movements and secessionist groups, insurgencies and extremist groups and in any one country in the world. Currently, there are around 140 such known groups operating in 28 Indian States and 7 Union Territories.
There are parts of India where diverse set of freedom movement groups run their own independent governments, collect taxes, maintain functional bureaucratic institutions, judiciary and maintain well organized regular and trained armies. On 30 June 2012, the Army of Government of People’s Republic of Nagaland held an openly announced passing out parade of a batch of officers at their military base Khehoi, merely 40 kilometers from Rangapahar, Dimapur. Rangapahar is the Headquarters of Indian Army 3 Corps and is a big cantonment also housing large Para-military force nearby. Yet the Indian Army and other security apparatus did not have the courage to establish the writ of Indian government.
Over 120 Indian Army battalions and over 250 para-military battalions are deployed in Occupied Kashmir. Close to 70 Indian Army battalions and over 220 para-military battalions are deployed in North East of India. Over 80 para-military battalions are also deployed in the rest of India to combat insurgencies. These forces have committed massive human rights violations. They are protected under the law, particularly the Armed Forces Special Power Act (AFSPA) for protection of Indian Army, giving it blanket cover for killing or torturing anyone.
Does anybody in the so-called civilized world know that a lady known by the name of Irom Sharmila Chanu, also known as the Iron Lady of Manipur, has been on hunger strike for the past 12 years and is being force-fed. She went on a hunger strike on 4 November 2000 in an effort to have the Government of India withdraw AFSPA from Manipur and other parts of India.
India has always blamed her neighbors, mainly Pakistan for presence of such a large number of secessionist groups. However, according to Indian media sources only 32 such groups operate in IOK, presence of which is conveniently blamed on Pakistan. Large majority of the IOK populace however blame oppression of Indian Security Forces in the killings of over 100,000 Kashmiri people.
Bulk of the remaining groups around 72 in number operate in the North East of India, while the remaining are spread over the rest of Indian territory. Overall, around 30-40 percent of Indian territory has been inflicted by freedom movements and insurgencies due to un-equal treatment meted out to the local populace and atrocities committed by Indian Security Forces, who are protected by law through manipulation of democratic institutions.
In addition to this, Naxalite movement alone has spread to over 40 percent of India and is fast getting out of hand. These are poor people who have risen up in arms against a manipulative democratic dispensation in which the rich are getting richer and the poor getting poorer without any future. Even with oppressive application of large number of security forces, India is clearly losing her writ on almost 50 percent of its territory.
The neo-colonial attitude followed by Indian political elite has further exacerbated the dichotomies present in the democratic and political dispensation meted out to the population at large.
Their indifferent internal economic policies sustained through oppressive application of security strategies kept hidden from the world at large through adroit media handling in order to achieve some unattainable foreign policy precepts may lead to undesirable consequences.
The blind followers of Indianized Kingdom or Indianization through attempted assimilation of neo-colonial cultural fail to understand that US achieved the objectives of its state-hood as a result of a civil war in 1860s.
India apparently is fast approaching this red line, where these freedom movements and insurgencies may result in internecine civil wars in different parts of India. In their ambition to undo the 1947 partition of India, the Indian neo-colonial dispensators may further fuel the disintegration of India through a democracy soaked in blood of her own people.
(Khan A. Sufyan is a security analyst on South Asia and has advised government, semi-government and private organizations and institutions on national and international security issues, as well as participating in number of national and international seminars and presented papers on various regional and global security issues)